i have a lot of little peeves, most of them so petty that i feel silly about bringing them up, but they make me so cross!
*med students/junior doctors who, while scrubbed, try to take instruments from me to pass to the surgeon. i know they're trying to help and feel involved, but i'm keeping track of what goes up and comes back, and also am handing the instrument properly, so that the surgeon doesn't have to look at it or turn it around to use it.
*people who undo the back of my gown as soon as i push my trolley away from the table at the end of the case. i know you'e trying to help, but I'd like to keep it on to protect my clothes and my skin while i'm tidying my trays and throwing out gross stuff, but now its falling off my shoulders in a most annoying way and i'm tripping over the hem.
*people who come and start throwing thing out off my trolley at the end of the case. i know you're trying to help, but i've got mess everywhere, still have sharps on the table, and am trying to put my trays back together and do a final check with myself that everything's back where it belongs.
*med students/junior doctors/assistant surgeons/scout nurses who repeat everything the consultant asks for. i know he wants a forcep, i heard him ask for it too, which is why I’m holding it right now, and don’t you worry, just as soon as he puts his hand out, I’ll give it to him.
*scout nurses who pick and choose what they think I’ll need out of the pile of stuff I’ve put out to be opened at the start of a case. I’m trying to make it easy for them, I’ve asked the surgeon what they want, and have selected the stuff I’d like to have opened and put it all in one place, ready for my scout to just go ‘bam, bam, bam’, but no, they’d rather pick and choose what they think I’ll want, so that at the start of the case I’m still standing there looking disorganised asking for things.
*scout nurses who think that the most important thing to open at the start of a crash caesarean is the surgeon’s gloves so that they don’t have to go through the trauma of putting on their gown, when turning 90degrees to their left to take their gloves from the scout. Sure, its nice to have everything ready for the surgeon, but I’m sure they’d prefer I had the caesarean tray and a blade.
*surgeons who ask for something they want in 5 minutes time. We have a surgeon who does this all the time. He’ll say ‘prepare the 3/0 vicryl’, then a minute later will put out his hand. So you give him the 3/0 vicryl, and he looks at you like you’re an idiot because what he wants is a scissor, then a haemostat, then a tie, then a suture scissor, THEN a 3/0 vicryl.
*people who tell people what I want without asking me. ‘oh no, goats doesn’t like doing craniotomies’ (news to me. actually I really enjoy them. Even the scary ones). ‘no, goats won’t want to work with that surgeon, he’s rude and mean’ (he’s rude and mean to YOU because you don’t know what you’re doing and you insist on calling him ‘sir’. He’s perfectly civil to me and I’d much rather work with him that one of his whingey colleagues, who refuse to acknowledge my presence because I refuse to pander to their whining). this one goes for real life too.
*people who confuse me wanting to do things the right/safe/legal way with being a control freak.
*people who try to perform a surgical count without referring to the count sheet. I know you trust your memory, but I don’t trust it! I know I’ve been guilty of it once or twice in speedy little cases, but at the end of a four hour laparotomy where multiple staff have opened extra items for me, I just think it’d be a nice idea for you to peek at the count sheet as we go. I try to explain that it’s best practice – I’m just being stubborn. I try to refer to the ACORN standards – I’m just being difficult. I try to explain that I’ve done a case before where the scout counted everything without referring to the count sheet, then went back to the bench and wrote all the numbers in as correct according to the count sheet, only for me to find another hypodermic on my trolley that we hadn’t counted in our second count.. but don’t worry, despite not counting it, my scout had written it in as present J
*people who don’t use professional language/legible penmanship/correct spelling on paperwork. I should not have to tell an experienced colleague not to scribble things out, nor should I have to explain that in the event that a laparoscopic bowel resection goes open, the procedure should be stated as ‘laparoscopic bowel resection converted to open procedure’. And for Pete’s sake, its ‘Lower uterine segment caesarean section, live female infant delivered @.....’ not ‘LUCS, baby girl born @....’ the diathermy plate is not on the patient’s bottom, and that labial abrasion you noticed when you put the catheter in is not a ‘reddened vagina’.
*people who take extra-long breaks when we’re running a really fast-paced list. Sure, there are times when I won’t mind if you take an extra couple of minutes, have one more biscuit, tell one last bit of gossip, but when you know you’ve left me running my tail off with a narky surgeon, I mind.
*people who flat-out refuse to work in a specialty. I do a bit of everything, and I really don’t see why you cant too.
Wow.. what a debrief! There’s probably more too!